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3 February, 2010  
Movida Aqui

Up pops Melbourne’s favourite Spanish noshery within striking distance of a clutch of legal stomachs … Jaws makes a bold claim that the paella is nestled deep in the soul of Melbournians

Has Movida sold out?

imageFrank Camorra’s new digs are a world away from intimate shared nibbles down graffiti-clad Hosier Lane, an experience as quintessentially Melbourne as a St Kilda sunset, a guttural roar from the MCG or fisticuffs with a ticket inspector.

For starters, Movida Aqui is down the legal end of town.

The website says, “Large groups welcome”, and its slick and airy fit-out and large tables seem purpose built for corporate entertaining.

There’s a separate bar and lunch spot outside (that’s Movida Terraza to you), which is long overdue in a neck of the woods dominated by overpriced salads and 2-for-1 Breezers.

It’s as different to Hosier Lane as, well, Sydney.

But who cares? The food is as satisfying and exciting, the service still spot on (no problem to pull up an extra chair or keep the mayo separate for a vegan) and … wait for it … the kitchen is big enough to make paella!

The banquet ($65 a head, not including drinks and dessert), we are told, is all about the journey towards this culinary nirvana.

To get there, the daily changing menu will seamlessly take you through the adventurous and the traditional, a veritable Noah’s ark of Spanish meaty deliciousness.

Think anchovy on smoked tomato sorbet, followed by planches of jamon. Octopus terrine speckled with dehydrated olives, chased by a gloriously sloppy calamari and mayonnaise sandwich to grasp with both hands. Quail straight off the charcoal grill, perched on housemade morcilla and chickpeas. Your daily veg come via a silky cauliflower puree, nestled underneath a beef cheek braised to the point of collapse in Pedro Ximenez lusciousness.

And then The Paella.

No need for further adjectives – you know this food, it’s nestled deep down in a Melbournian’s soul.

And now you can get it in Lawyersville.

Movida Aqui Level 1, 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne